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PDFWAC 308-15-160

Board member rules of conduct—Activities incompatible with public duties—Financial interests in transactions.

(1) When a member of the board either owns a beneficial interest in or is an officer, agent, employee, or member of an entity, or individual that is engaged in a transaction involving the board, the member shall:
(a) Recuse him or herself from the board discussion regarding the specific transaction;
(b) Recuse him or herself from the board vote on the specific transaction; and
(c) Refrain from attempting to influence the remaining board members in their discussion and vote regarding the specific transaction.
(2) The prohibition against discussion and voting set forth in subsection (1)(a) and (c) of this section shall not prohibit the member of the board from using his or her general expertise to educate and provide general information on the subject area to the other members.
(3)(a) "Transaction involving the board" means a proceeding, application, submission, request for a ruling or other determination, contract, claim, case, or other similar matter that the member in question believes, or has reason to believe:
(i) Is, or will be, the subject of board action; or
(ii) Is one to which the board is or will be a party; or
(iii) Is one in which the board has a direct and substantial proprietary interest.
(b) "Transaction involving the board" does not include the following: Preparation, consideration, or enactment of legislation, including appropriation of moneys in a budget, or the performance of legislative duties by a member; or a claim, case, lawsuit, or similar matter if the member did not participate in the underlying transaction involving the board that is the basis for the claim, case, or lawsuit. Rule making is not a "transaction involving the board."
(4) "Board action" means any action on the part of the board, including, but not limited to:
(a) A decision, determination, finding, ruling, or order; and
(b) A grant, payment, award, license, contract, transaction, sanction, or approval, or the denial thereof, or failure to act with respect to a decision, determination, finding, ruling, or order.
(5) The following are examples of possible scenarios related to board member rules of conduct. Activities incompatible with public duties; financial interests in transactions.
(a) Example 1:
The geologist licensing board disciplines licensed geologists in Washington. The board is conducting an investigation involving the services provided by a licensed geologist. One of the members of the board is currently serving as a subcontractor to that geologist on a large project. The board member must recuse himself from any board investigation, discussion, deliberation and vote with respect to disciplinary actions arising from licensed geologist services.
(b) Example 2:
The geologist licensing board makes licensing decisions on applications for licensure. An applicant for licensure owns a geotechnical consulting business which employs licensed geologists, including one of the board members. The board member employed by the business must recuse himself from any board investigation, discussion, deliberation and vote with respect to his employer's application for licensure.
(c) Example 3:
The geologist licensing board makes licensing decisions on applications from geologists registered in other states or territories of the United States, the District of Columbia, or other countries. The board can grant licensure if an individual's qualifications and experience are equivalent to the qualifications and experience required of a person licensed under Washington law. An out-of-state applicant is employed as a geologist by a multinational corporation that is planning to build its world headquarters in Washington and has hired a board member's firm as the geologist for the project. The board member must recuse himself from any board investigation, discussion, deliberation and vote with respect to the sufficiency of the out-of-state geologist's qualifications and experience.
(6) Recusal disclosure. If recusal occurs pursuant to subsection (1) of this section, the member of the board shall disclose to the public the reasons for his or her recusal from any board action whenever recusal occurs. The board staff shall record each recusal and the basis for the recusal.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 18.220.040. WSR 07-13-038, § 308-15-160, filed 6/13/07, effective 7/14/07.]
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